No one loves technology as much as I do. I am writing this Internet Blog Post on my MacBook Pro, while listening to my Jambox Mini speaker that is connected via Bluetooth to iTunes on my iPad. I was interrupted by a phone call, just as I was starting to write, that I took on my iPhone using my Bluetooth LG HBS730 earbuds. All of this simultaneously in one room.
This weekend I used my Bluetooth iGrill which allowed me to make sure my steak was exactly medium rare without having to guess or stay by the grill. I was able to stand inside and talk with my wife knowing that when my steak was ready, that a pleasant English woman (that seems to reside in my iPhone) would chant, “Your food is ready. Your food is ready.” I’m kind of bummed she didn’t know exactly what kind of steak it was and recommend a nice Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with it. Seriously, sometimes I feel like I am living in a sci-fy movie. So why do I still use a low-tech “Prospect Box” to keep track of the companies I am prospecting on instead of using an electronic CRM/Database?
I can think of 8 reasons.
- CRMs are very powerful – But with great power (say it with me) comes great responsibility. Responsibility to tackle the intense learning curve it necessitates. The time spent doing this will be time sitting in my office instead of out “Talking to a whole bunch of people.”
- I forget – When I am out prospecting, I might walk through as many as 40 doors in a single day. My goal of course is to set an appointment with the Decision Maker. Unfortunately I’m usually only successful about 15% of the time. That means I have picked up 34 businesses that I need to remember details about. I’d rather capture that information immediately after walking out, then later that night when I am tired and they all blur together.
- I’m lazy – Assuming I took good notes on the business card immediately after walking out of the business, I don’t want to duplicate my work and sit at the computer entering the information into my database.
- Smart phones suck -For entering data. There are some cool, intuitive, CRMs for iPhone. I’ve tried them. Maybe you enjoy “texting” all your prospects information into your phone, but I’ll pass. Now checking football scores on ESPN and watching funny dog videos on youtube on the other hand….
- Computers crash – If you have ever lost your work due to a hard drive failure (and who hasn’t) you know how painful this can be. Never once has my “Prospect Box” left me staring at the “Blue Screen of Death.”
- It’s transferable – Most of my career has been spent hiring and training new agents. I have made sure that every aspect of my daily routine is something that a new agent can duplicate easily. If they see me using an expensive, complicated CRM system, their first thought is they have to spend a ton of money and learn the software before they can start prospecting.
- It’s cheap – Did you notice I didn’t say, “I’m cheap?” I have zero problem spending money… when it helps advance my business. But I hate to spend money on things that don’t return the value I believe they should.
- If it ain’t broke – There may come a day when someone develops a CRM that is inexpensive, intuitive, allows easy data entry in the field, has built in redundancy to minimize the risk of data loss, and can recommend a good wine to pair with my porterhouse. But that day isn’t here….yet.
Conclusion: Great follow-up skills will make you a great sales person (and a great deal of money).
Question: Who are the top ten hottest prospects in your follow-up system? If you don’t know, how can you call it a system?